CHARLESTON, S.C. - Jason Miller connected on the walk-off single with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning as Charleston Southern completed the weekend sweep over visiting Hofstra on Sunday afternoon with the 8-7 win.
Miller connected on a 0-2 pitch from Hofstra reliever John Ryan (0-2) for a shallow single into centerfield scoring Chris Singleton from second to cap the Bucs' (8-2) third win over the Pride on the weekend and sixth CSU victory in a row. Singleton drew a full-count walk and advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt before easily crossing the plate in front of the relay home to set off a celebration on the field in the Bucs' second walk-off win of the 2017 season.
Tyler Weekley (1-0) went the final three innings of the contest for the Bucs with the redshirt sophomore reliever allowing four hits while striking out two in his first win of the season. Weekley pitched CSU out of jams in both the ninth and 10th frames with inning-ending strikeouts, before retiring the Pride in order in the 11th in his first extended appearance of the season.
Miller finished the game 3-for-6 from the plate with a double, two RBI and a run scored in leading a CSU offense that rapped out a season-high 13 hits and four doubles in the win. Nate Blanchard connected on a pair of doubles in the first inning, while Chris Singleton and Kyle Vesnesky had two hits apiece for the Bucs in the contest. Mike Sconzo added his first collegiate home run with a two-run shot in the bottom of the first to keep his seven-game hitting streak alive.
Kyle Dyson earned the no-decision on the mound following his third start of the season. Dyson allowed six hits and three runs through 5.0 innings before turning the ball over to the CSU bullpen. Eddie Hiott pitched around a solo home run to strike out the side in the seventh inning, while Wil Hartsell, Daniel Johnson, and Cody Smith all saw time on the mound before Weekly closed out the contest.
Ryan (0-2) suffered the loss on the rubber for Hofstra (2-8) with the right-hander going 3.1 innings before giving up the game-winning run in the 11th. The Pride bullpen went 9.2 innings in relief of starter Teddy Cillis allowing six hits and an unearned run in the loss.
Hofstra took the early 3-0 lead after the first inning behind a pair of RBI singles by Mikey Riesner and Parker Quinn. Quinn's single through the left side brought home David Leiderman and Vito Friscia to give the Pride the early advantage.
The Bucs responded by sending 12 batters to the plate in the bottom half of the frame and scoring a season-high seven runs in the first inning. Blanchard and Singleton led off the inning with back-to-back doubles, while Miller followed with a RBI single to right field to narrow the gap to 3-2. Sconzo followed with a two-run shot that cleared the left field fence two batters later to give CSU the 4-3 lead. Kyle Vesnesky singled in Aaron Miller later in the frame and Blanchard's second double, a ball that short-hopped the fence in right field, brought home Vesnesky and Adam Andrew to give CSU the 7-3 lead.
Dyson settled in after the first inning and retired 12 of the next 14 hitters before turning the ball over to Hartsell in the sixth. Hofstra's bullpen matched Dyson's efforts with the Pride retiring 10 CSU batters in a row before Brandon Gragilla singled through the right side to lead off the fifth.
Hofstra started its comeback in the top of the seventh as Vito Costello greeted CSU reliever Hiott with a solo home run to left field narrowing the gap to 7-4. Hiott recovered from the home run with a trio of strikeouts to end the inning including getting Nick Bottari looking at strike three to set the Pride down in order.
The Pride took advantage of a trio of walks in the eighth to even the contest. Rob Weissheier drew a bases-loaded walk bringing home Friscia for Hofstra's first run of the frame. Costello followed with a two-run double to the left centerfield gap scoring Riesner and Leiderman to tie the game up at 7-7 before Cody Smith retired the final two batters to limit the damage.
Ryan and Weekley traded zeroes until the Bucs won on Miller's walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th.
- Jason Miller's walk-off single was the Buccaneers' second game-winning hit in the 2017 season as the redshirt sophomore third baseman drove in Chris Singleton to lead the Bucs to the win over the Pride. Cole German had the Bucs' first walk-off this season with a solo home run in the Bucs' 3-2 win over Delaware State on February 18.
- CSU finished the weekend on a six-game winning streak since taking the final two games of the VCU series on February 25-26. The Bucs need one more win to even their longest streak in the past two seasons since CSU won seven in a row from April 8-18 in 2015. CSU topped Clemson, Gardner-Webb, and Campbell during the stretch.
- Tyler Weekley's victory in Sunday's series finale was the redshirt sophomore's first win since March 8, 2014, when the then-freshman went the distance in a complete-game effort in CSU's 2-1 victory over Toledo. Weekley scattered five hits and one run while striking out five in the win.
- Chris Singleton remains perfect on the year in stolen base attempts (6-for-6) with the junior centerfielder swiping a pair in Sunday's win over the Pride. His effective base-running directly led to the game-winning run as an errant pickoff throw allowed him to move up 90 feet before Miller's game-winning single.
"It was a good weekend for us. Tyler Weekley did an unbelievable job throwing three scoreless innings and he made big pitches when he needed to. Jason Miller came through and had the big hit there for us at the end. It felt like we were close all game and had runners in scoring position, but couldn't get that big hit to add onto the lead until Jason came through for us with the walk-off," – Interim Head Coach Adam Ward on the Bucs' sweep over Hofstra.
"We strung together a lot of good at-bats consecutively in the first inning and had a lot of good swings. Mike Sconzo highlighted that with the first home run of his career and the guys all put it together and had a good approach in the first," – Ward on the Bucs' first inning offensive output.
"We need to continue to get better and take it one day at a time. We've got to get better each day this week in practice and get ready for a challenge at FIU on Thursday," – Ward on next weekend's opponent.
Charleston Southern makes its first road trip of the 2017 season next week as the Bucs travel to Miami, Fla. and the FIU Baseball Field for a three-game series against Florida International starting on Thursday, March 9. First pitch in the opener is set for 7 p.m. The Bucs-Panthers will continue the series with a 7 p.m. first pitch on Friday, while closing out the series with a 1 p.m. start time on Saturday.